Saturday, May 11, 2013

"I Want To Hold Your Hand/This Boy" session outtakes

A rather historic date: October 17 1963. The Beatles entered Studio Two at EMI studios in order to complete the recording of their fifth single which was eventually "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on the A-side and "This Boy" on the B-side. This is also the first session where the Beatles abandoned the twin track method of recording and would from now until mid to late 1968 use the four track machines at the studio. Three "songs" were recorded on this day but besides the two mentioned above, they also attempted to record their annual "Christmas message". This would later appear on a flexi-disc for the fan club in the UK.
Amazingly, most of the outtakes for the two songs which would appear as a single are available commercially and they can easily be found on the following items:
Let's start with "This Boy". Takes 12 and 13 can be found on the Apple vinyl 45/ CD single of "Free As A Bird". The announcement for take 13 can be found on the "Anthology" video.
Now for "I Want to Hold Your Hand", takes 1, 2, and 9 can be found on the "Anthology" video and on the Beatles official website but only as short snippets of the beginning riff. The handclap overdub session (take unknown) also shows up on the video.
The single was originally released in mono and Capitol records in the states used duophonic mixes for some of the LPs as well. It must be remembered that true stereo mixes were actually conducted four days after the recording session at EMI studios. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was mixed again for stereo three years later as well. The original stereo mixes were released in Australia (of all places !!) on a single and the A-side mix was also used in Australia for the "Greatest Hits" compilation.
The "three years later" mix was included on the "Collection of Beatles Oldies" LP in the UK as well as on the Past Masters collection. The B-side stereo mix was fairly rare for the longest time but has also ended up on the Past Masters collection as of late.

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